Digital Terrorism: After BOKO HARAM – What Next ?

                       By Chris Uwaje   After Boko Haram, what next? That translates to ‘Tomorrow is pregnant and we don’t know what it will bring forth’. But fact …

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             By Chris Uwaje

 

After Boko Haram, what next? That translates to ‘Tomorrow is pregnant and we don’t know what it will bring forth’. But fact is, today, Boko Haram is here and will come and go and life goes on , Jama’atu Ahlis Sunna Lidda’awati Wal-Jihad, better known by its Hausa name Boko Haram, is a Salafist jihadist terrorist organization.  But, as the saying goes, nothing lasts forever! In the same vein, we might have also, asked ourselves in the late 90s, “After Isaac Jasper Adaka Boro (September 10, 1938 – May 9, 1968)” what next?

However, the central issues is, unless a serious thought is given to how Information and Communications Technology (ICT) can assist in the intelligent actualization of a National Identity Information System – incorporating and integrated into a National Data Base System, new Harams and other vices will emerge in the very near future and intensify our security shadow chasing rendezvous of mirages!

ICT will continue to play a very significant role in the development of national at all level and unless the IT spend of Nigeria is significantly increased and commensurate capacity building designed and effectively deployed to assist in resolving many of the contradictory and misleading information bottlenecks, the national crisis and challenges of national resource distribution may continue.
Recently,The spokesman for Nigerian militant group Boko Haram has been captured after months-long surveillance operation, a spokesman for Nigerian police said.
Security services tracked Abu Qa Qa through his phone even though he changed his location and phone number regularly, police told CNN. They said they’re now trying to confirm his true identity, though they believe that he is a Nigerian citizen.
Boko Haram has carried out multiple bombings and shootings across northern Nigeria in recent days.

Depending on the faction of the group, Boko Haram’s ambitions range from the stricter enforcement of Islamic Sharia law to the destruction of the government.

It will be recalled that Isaac Jasper Adaka Boro university students leader, a teacher, policeman and a Major in the Nigerian Army. An undergraduate of Chemistry at the University of Nigeria, Nsuka.and student union president, he left school to lead an armed protest against the exploitation of oil and gas resources in the Niger Delta areas. The next wave was Ken Saro- Wiwa, who substituted the gun with his pen and so on.

What next? Digital Terrorism? Yes, we are beginning to see a little bit of terrorism of the digital age around us and will intensify in future if a comprehensive information systems requirements are not urgently identified, deployed and controlled, before the digital terrorist take us and the future hostage. As the saying goes, ‘you cannot eat your cake and have it’. By extension, we cannot measure what we cannot measure.

A 21st Century nation without a comprehensive and liable National Database System, can at best be described as living in the past.
It may be instructive to recall the India, New Delhi experience of December. 2 2008: “The heavily armed attackers who set out for Mumbai by sea last a week before, navigated with Global Positioning System (GPS) equipment, according to Indian investigators and police. They carried BlackBerrys, CDs holding high-resolution satellite images like those used for Google Earth maps, and multiple cellphones with switchable SIM cards that would be hard to track. They also spoke by satellite telephone. Indeed, they had access to satellite television channels beaming life broadcast of the terrorist attack.

This is indeed terrorism in the digital age. Emerging details about the 60-hour siege of Mumbai, India clearly showed that the attackers had made sophisticated use of high technology in planning and carrying out the assault that killed at least 174 people and wounded more than 300. The flood of information about the attacks — on TV, cellphones, the Internet — seized the attention of a terrified city, but it also was exploited by the assailants to direct their fire and cover their origins.
According to Kurtis Lindqvist “Both sides used technology. The terrorists would not have been able to carry out these attacks had it not been for technology. They were not sailors, but they were able to use sophisticated GPS navigation tools and detailed maps to sail from Karachi [in Pakistan] to Mumbai,” said G. Parthasarathy, an internal security expert at the Center for Policy Research in New Delhi. “Our new reality of modern life is that the public also sent text messages to relatives trapped in hotels and used the Internet to try and fight back.”

However, having access to technology and understanding its importance is one thing, deploying commensurate Political will to ensuring its efficient application by building mandatorily required capacities to ensure its actualization and sustainability is another thing entirely.

We now life in a predominantly machine society – made possible by the processes and products of technology. This has also made it possible for Boko Haram members to have access to Information Technology facilities – with particular reference to the Internet. They apply the Television and Internet facilities (e-Mail, U-Tube, CNN,   Aljazeera etc.) as easily and frequently as the entrepreneur and business concerns. They probably have acquired hacking and other Digital-killer skills beyond our collective imagination.

 

 

 

 

About the Author

Chris Uwaje: Known as the Oracle of the Nigerian IT Industry, Pioneered the conceptualization Framework and content drafting strategy for the establishment of the National Information Technology Development Policy for Nigeria. He is the former Regional Director for D-link International – West Africa. In 2008 he was crowned the IT Personality of the year. He has presented many IT conference papers at home and abroad. He is a speaker of international repute. Uwaje, who is very passionate about youth empowerment through ICT, before now, was the Principal Consultant and Chief Executive Officer of Connect Technologies Limited, (Developers of E-Government Solutions, Enterprise Banker Enterprise, Enterprise Knowledge Intelligence Groupware & Enterprise Cooperative Financials Application).He is an expert in Software Design and Engineering Solutions; Research, Design and Development (RD&D). His special professional focus: National & Regional IT Strategy and Policy; Coordinating Chairman, Council for West Africa Information Technology Professionals (CWAITP).President Cybersecurity NGO Global Network for Cybersolution, Past President of Information Technology Association of Nigeria (ITAN) and  President of Institute of Software Practitioners of Nigeria (ISPON).Member, National Inter-Ministerial Committee on Software Development, Council Member, Computer Professional Registration Council of Nigeria. (CPN). Foundation Member, National Software Development Initiative (NSDI), Member, National Outsourcing Initiative by the Federal Government of Nigeria.He is a distinguished Fellow of Nigeria Computer Society (NCS), Fellow: Institute of Analysts and Programmers. U.K. Fellow: Institute of Certified Professional of UK; Former Council Member: Nigeria Computer Society (NCS). Pioneer Past President Global Network for Cyber Solution (NGO on Cybersecurity and Cybercrime Chris Uwaje is reputed for his numerous articles concerning national and International issues on ICT.

 

 

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